Oconee County, GA – Facebook firings seem to be in the news daily now, and the law enforcement and criminal justice fields seem to be very vulnerable to conflicts of interest when it comes to Facebook. Case in point is the jailer who has been fired for accepting the Facebook friend request of an inmate he had been charged with jailing.
Oconee County Jail Deputy Dewayne Powers was released from his position at the jail, and Deputy Andrea Rogers resigned in the wake of the Facebook controversy as an internal investigation at the correctional facility revealed some inappropriate Facebook connections between the two and a 23-year-old former inmate at the jail.
The unnamed inmate was jailed on June 28 and bailed out on July 23, the same day the Facebook connection came to the attention of Sheriff Scott Berry. According to MSNBC, upon her release , the inmate told her boyfriend about the friend request, sparking the internal investigation.
While in jail, the woman did not have access to her cell phone or to Facebook, and, in addition to the friend requests, the inmate was also said to have received a text message from the men who later resigned or were fired.
Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Lee Weems says that Powers was fired following a hearing in early August while Rogers resigned after he learned of the investigation:
“There was a difference in the level of conduct between the two… The one that resigned pretty much owned up to his portion of the thing pretty quickly.”
Powers could have contested the Facebook firing after the hearing but chose not to.